MINDS @ UW-Madison

The Correlation Between Illegal Drugs and Violent Crime in Madison, Wisconsin

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Spencer, Jonathan; Seeger, Lena; An, Sung-Jean
Dec 15, 2009
Violent crime; Madison, WI; Drugs
Studies show conflicting findings on the nature of the violent crime and drug relationship. This is partly due to the differences in the method of data collection employed by these studies. Statistical data generally shows a positive correlation between violent crime and drug activity, which can lead conclusions about a cause and effect relationship that may not exist. Data gathered through interviews and surveys can give a more nuanced picture of the relationship. Self-report studies have indicated that drug use at an early age is a precursor for increased drug use in adulthood, and that juvenile crime is a precursor for more serious crime in adulthood. The types of drugs used and distributed vary among different races. The frequency of arrests for drug crimes in also greatest among racial minority populations. In Madison, Wisconsin, the highest arrest rates for both violent activity and drug crimes are found in areas with large minority populations, and low levels of both education and income.
Includes Appendix, Bibliography, Maps, Statistics
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